A History Of Hyperbolic Overreaction To Copyright Issues: The Entertainment Industry And Technology

from the the-sky-is-falling,-the-sky-is-falling dept

It seems that the entertainment industry has settled on its hilarious key talking point against people who are concerned about SOPA/PROTECT IP. I've been seeing variations on this in a bunch of different places, but the entertainment industry's biggest shills are focusing on the idea that the concerns being raised by actual technologists, entrepreneurs, innovators, creators and investors are somehow "hysterical hyperbole." A key example is RIAA boss Cary Sherman's "rebuttal" posted to News.com this week, which starts out with "let's all take a deep breath," and goes on to say that passing SOPA "won't kill the internet."

That's all well and good, though no one has said it will kill the internet, but just change it in massively significant ways that the RIAA/MPAA and its ilk don't understand. Remember, these are the folks who once admitted that they were too clueless to even know how to hire a good technologist, let alone understand how a massive change to the fundamental regulatory and technological framework of the internet will impact innovation.

But, really, let's go back to a key point. In the last century or so, which industry has a habit of being hysterical and hyperbolic about copyright issues... and which has a history of being right. Let's start about a century ago, with John Philip Sousa, the composer. In 1906, he went to Congress to complain about the infernal technology industry and how it was going to ruin music:
These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a boy...in front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape.
Yes, the tech industry was going to kill music, because of "these infernal machines."

Around that time, Thomas Edison, who tried to monopolize the entire "moving pictures" industry as both a content provider and a tech provider, freaked out over the idea of others providing machines that could show movies, claiming that if there were ten such movie "screen machines" in the US, it would kill the industry:
If we put out a screen machine there will be a use for maybe ten of them in the whole United States. With that many screen machines you would show the pictures to everyone in the country -- and then it would be done. Let's not kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
Jump forward to 1932 and that great technological innovation called "radio." Once again, fear permeated the entertainment industry, leading to calls for massive changes to the laws and complaints about how radio was killing the industry:
Tin Pan Alley is sadly aware that Radio has virtually plugged up its oldtime outlets, sheet music and gramophone discs. The average music publisher used to get $175,000 a year from disc sales. He now gets about 10% of this. No longer does a song hit sell a million copies. The copious stream of music poured out by Radio puts a song quickly to death. The average song's life has dwindled from 18 months to 90 days; composers are forced to turn out a dozen songs a year instead of the oldtime two or three.
Evil stuff. Okay. Jump forward a few years, to the rise of cable TV. Once again, the MPAA freaks out, because some cable TV stations are "rebroadcasting" network TV. The MPAA argues in court that cable TV effectively kills off copyright law, as noted in a dissent in one of the key cases concerning the legality of cable TV:
We are advised by an amicus brief of the Motion Picture Association that films from TV telecasts are being imported by CATV into their own markets in competition with the same pictures licensed to TV stations in the area into which the CATV—a nonpaying pirate of the films—imports them. It would be difficult to imagine a more flagrant violation of the Copyright Act. Since the Copyright Act is our only guide to law and justice in this case, it is difficult to see why CATV systems are free of copyright license fees, when they import programs from distant stations and transmit them to their paying customers in a distant market. That result reads the Copyright Act out of existence for CATV.
Jump forward a decade or so, and we have the infamous statement of Jack Valenti comparing the VCR to the Boston Strangler:
I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.
Around the same time, over in the UK, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) -- the equivalent of the RIAA -- began its infamous campaign telling the world:
Home taping is killing music.
Or, in logo form:
Okay, how about the DVR? The wonderful device that made TV watchable and useful again? The entertainment industry attacked that big time, focusing its legal guns on ReplayTV, who it effectively forced out of business. As part of the arguments against Replay, the entertainment industry's lawyers claimed that:
What's happening here is much more than just delaying the time in which I watch a show that I taped off the television. I'm delaying it, and watching it without commercials, and that is something that our courts have never said is acceptable.
Yes, watching TV without commercials goes against the law. Turner Broadcasting boss Jamie Kellner put it more succinctly:
People who watch TV without commercials are stealing from the entertainment producers.
Okay. MP3 players? The thing that's such a huge part of the music industry today? Cary Sherman's RIAA did everything it could to kill them in its lawsuit against the Diamond Rio. From the RIAA's filing in the case:
While the proliferation of MP3s over the Internet has been a serious problem for the recording industry, the scope of that problem has been bound by a natural limitation. MP3 files can be played only by computers, and enjoyed only while operating a computer. The introduction of the Rio devices -- and a number of anticipated look-alike devices from other vendors -- will change that by making MP3 files portable.

[....]

The growth of illicit MP3 files will injure not only the record companies and artists whose work will be pirated, but also the music publishers, musicians, background singers, songwriters and others whose existence is dependent on revenue earned by record sales.
How about the XM + MP3 device that let paying subscribers to XM radio record what they listen to -- just like you could record radio over the air or off a computer? Yeah, the record labels sued over that, claiming $150,000 in statutory damages per recorded song.

And, finally, how about Viacom's attack on YouTube, claiming it was the equivalent of a "Grokster for video." While that case is still ongoing, Viacom has argued that if the district court ruling stands, it would completely destroy the value of content:
If affirmed by this Court, that construction of Section 512(c) would radically transform the functioning of the copyright system and severely impair, if not completely destroy, the value of many copyrighted creations. It would immunize from copyright infringement liability even avowedly piratical Internet businesses.
Given this little tour through history, it's pretty damn funny to see the RIAA and MPAA and their supporters insisting that it's the tech industry who has a history of hyperbole on these subjects. As far as I can tell, there isn't a technological innovation that has come along in the last century that the entertainment industry hasn't had a hysterical negative reaction to... even as it later turned out to be a massive help to the industry.

Thus, when the entertainment industry seeks to totally overturn the basic technological and regulatory underpinnings of the internet, over its latest freakout (rogue sites! cyberlockers!), forgive those of us who have seen this hyperbolic overreaction play out before, from pointing out that (a) the entertainment industry is totally and completely overreacting and (b) rushing into broad regulatory changes without the input or help of the tech industry is a big, big mistake. As with nearly every technology discussed above, if the RIAA and MPAA would just stop freaking out and falsely believing it's a legal or enforcement issue, and recognize that it's all a business issue, then the tech industry can actually help them innovate, support new services and make more money. Instead, in typical hyperbolic overreaction fashion, they're seeking to kill the very infrastructure that is their path to solve their current financial woes.

So, when the RIAA and the MPAA insist that "something must be done!" as quickly as is humanly possible to deal with the "threat" of so-called "rogue sites" domestically and abroad, we say back to them: "let's all take a deep breath." And suggest that, perhaps it is they who are hysterically overreacting... as they've done for over a century.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Jay (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 9:45am

    Irony

    Cary Sherman - There is a place for passionate, vigorous debate over rogue-Web-sites legislation pending in the House (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and Senate (Protect IP Act). We welcome it. Facts are always useful, and especially in this instance.

    So why not call up a number of people that have said this legislation would be damaging to how people use the internet today? Why has the MPAA nor the RIAA ever responded to the 3 year research of "Media Piracy" which looked extensively at the piracy issue, pricing points, and found ways to help the industry make more money?

    Why is it that platforms of commerce are being destroyed rather than these trade industries work to create their own? If facts were so important, why do they never seek any? That's the most frustrating part about this. You respond rationally to the supposed fears of the industry and you find that there are better ways of doing business that could make customers willing to stop pirating. It's the guys stuck in the 80s that are ruining the innovations of the new millennium.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    This entire bill is a 'hyperbolic overreaction' to something that shouldn't even be illegal in the first place.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Umm, yawn... Yet copyright continues, because useful to society TOO!

    You DON'T have any alternative means to support the creation of "content", Mike, only some vague wishing that always gets back to grifters making money indirectly through advertising off the content that someone else has paid big money for. That's not going to run the movie biz.

    And no matter how wrong the doomsayers in industry were or are, the basic principles of copyright go on, they're all that allows the industries to exist. You cannot let just anyone copy / consume however much they please: MUST BE MONEY DIRECTLY FROM CONSUMERS.

    And in any case, technology doesn't give anyone the right to copy / consume what others have made and paid for.

     

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:16am

      Re: Umm, yawn... Yet copyright continues, because useful to society TOO!

      At this point, you could probably just set up a bot to kick out your "can't make a $100 million movie out of 'free,' Mike" comments.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re: Umm, yawn... Yet copyright continues, because useful to society TOO!

        What makes you think he hasn't?

         

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      hothmonster, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:17am

      Re: Umm, yawn... Yet copyright continues, because useful to society TOO!

      "MUST BE MONEY DIRECTLY FROM CONSUMERS."

      Which is why network television never worked out

       

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      S, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:20am

      Re: Umm, yawn... Yet copyright continues, because useful to society TOO!

      This is the stupidest comment anyone using this name has ever left -- and that's saying a lot.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:21am

      Re: Umm, yawn... Yet copyright continues, because useful to society TOO!

      "And in any case, technology doesn't give anyone the right to copy / consume what others have made and paid for."

      Your right people have been doing that since the dawn of time. All technology does if give the industry figures for how much copying is going on.

      Since they don't understand the internet and think the info on those feeder torrents sites is true and there really are 2MM people downloading their content right now they "know" they are losing billions a second.

       

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      John Doe, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:58am

      Re: Umm, yawn... Yet copyright continues, because useful to society TOO!

      You so miss the point here, and always really, that I have to wonder if you are paid to miss it? The point isn't that technology can allow infringing activity; the point is that all the doomsday predictions by the industry has never once come to pass. They have always, when forced too, found a way to make use of the technology to make even more money before. They have that opportunity today as well, but they are busy trying to drag the world back in time rather than adapt to the new landscape.

      Do we really want to give them the power to slow the internet down or even reverse some of the progress made? That is way, way too much power to give any one or any industry. They can adapt as they always have in the past or they can die.

       

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      Richard (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

      Re: Umm, yawn... Yet copyright continues, because useful to society TOO!

      You DON'T have any alternative means to support the creation of "content",

      Yup - it's called fund and release - it meets all your criteria - and it works even in the mass market for new acts - cf X factor (insert country here) Idol, (insert country here) has got talent etc etc.

      Works created that way are funded up front and can be freely shared afterwards - it's better for evceryone! (Except maybe middlemen who want to make money for nothing for life).

       

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      techflaws.org (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 11:36pm

      Re: Umm, yawn... Yet copyright continues, because useful to society TOO!

      And in any case, technology doesn't give anyone the right to copy / consume what others have made and paid for.

      Exactly. That's why technology should never be blamed for the sheer possibility of doing so since it's the user who makes a conscious decision from his moral standpoint. So blame him if you must.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:18am

    "What's happening here is much more than just delaying the time in which I watch a show that I taped off the television. I'm delaying it, and watching it without commercials, and that is something that our courts have never said is acceptable."

    Right because people never fast-forwarded stuff they taped on their VCR. The DVR is not just a VCR with a harddrive that is much easier to program, its a entirely new unlawful evil.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

      Re:

      I think the DVR is why there is so much reality garbage on network television. It's cheap to produce, and people enjoy watching competitions live. No one wants to be the last person on facebook to know that so-and-so got booted from Survivor/American Idol/Big Brother/America's Got Talent/etc...

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, reality TV came about as a result of a massive writer's strike that stopped the production of actual TV shows when the scripts ran out. Reality shows don't require scripts so they could still be produced. When it was discovered that they are not only cheap, but people watch them, it was game over and a giant setback for the already dismal state of TV entertainment.

        It had nothing to do with DVRs.

         

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      techflaws.org (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 11:38pm

      Re:

      As even as switching channels, talking to friends, going to the bathroom, the moment commercials come on?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:19am

    A solution to the problem

    Everyone in the United States gives up paying for or purchasing music for five years. It will prove that they need us more than we need them.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:52am

      Re: A solution to the problem

      Amen I say, although 5 months would be plenty long enough to change the world. Hell, one lousy quarter and the Wall St. boys would eject absolutely all the media executives. Not, to get the sheep to follow; how many do you think we're going to convince that they don't need that new release movie RIGHT NOW or the latest Gaga album RIGHT NOW ? If folks could exert the least amount of patience they could control everything, but, they don't.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:20am

    John Philip Sousa in 1906

    Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape.


    I'm guessing he was a big Kipling fan, and got this idea from Just So Stories, published in 1902. Or he learned about evolution when Lamarckian evolutionary theory was in vogue.

    It really is a beautiful misunderstanding of evolution, and I'm almost sorry he is wrong philosophically, practically, and metaphorically.

     

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    John Doe, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Don't forget MTV...

    The first video played was title "Video Killed the Radio Star". Now MTV barely plays videos and somehow radio survived.

     

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      John Doe, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:38am

      Also don't forget IBM...

      I believe it was IBM that said there was maybe a need for 10 computers in the world. Boy do they look foolish now.

      The moral here is there is no way to know the future of a new technology until you turn it loose on the world and see what they do with it. Somehow people always manage to find a way to make money with it.

       

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    Spaceman Spiff, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    What it's about

    It's not about piracy or copyright infringement. It is entirely about control. The RIAA and MPAA and their members are not so worried about piracy or copying, but that they are losing control over all of the distribution channels that have provided their major revenue streams for all these years. However, the fact of the matter is, is that they are rapidly becoming irrelevant to music production and distribution, and this has them freaked out to the point that they will do ANYTHING to stop that trend.

     

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    John Doe, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    That would be illegal today if RIAA has it's way...

    When I was a boy...in front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs.

    I hope he paid the artist, or more likely the gatekeeper, to sing those songs. Otherwise he was a freetard.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:50am

    Highlander

    The only logical conclusion from this article is that, being decimated over and over by the pirates and posting pretty good financial results in the last few weeks, the entertainment industry is actually a HIGHLANDER.

    We have to aim for the head.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    They can scream and shout all they want. Evolution waits for no one. They either adapt, or die. It's as simple as that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Mike you are wonderful at piling things up and playing the old 20/20 hindsight card as if things were so damn obvious before we got to see the results play out over 20,30, or even 100 years.

    Since you are so wise, can you explain why the sales of recorded music are down more than 50%, yet the consumption of the same recorded music is at an all time high?

    Try to do it without being insulting!

     

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      Ninja (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      God, haven't we been through that already lil trollie? That's PHYSICAL MEDIA (and it's not that much). So please little trollie, come back with facts and not your own distorted opinions ;)

       

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        AJ (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:06am

        Re: Re:

        Damn your fast, almost... Ninja like....

         

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          Ninja (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          lol ;)

          And I'm not sure if it was a cache problem but it seemed TD hadn't record my comment (you can see I posted again below to the trollie). Go figure. Maybe I was that fast O.o

          Take care of lil trollie for me, I'm leaving and will only be back tomorrow =/

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:19am

        Re: Re:

        Ninja, wake up - that includes itunes style sales.

        I don't care about which media... "recorded music sales" includes all media.

        Thanks for playing "I can't read".

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Really now?

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/nov/07/sales-of-digital-albums-soar

          Although the article states that "However, the total market was down 11.4% year on year...", just count how many times the word "record" appears in the article. Also, take into consideration the current economical climate.

          Have a nice day now.

           

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            Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The market for trolls is way down, too, but they're putting out more content than ever.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ummm, wow. I cannot even begin to figure out if you are being just ignorant, or just stupid, or intentionally an asshole. It all adds up the same thing I guess.

            A sales record in digital sales doesn't indicate record sales of recorded music. Digital sales are up to 25% of this market, but:

            "Figures released by the Official Charts Company in October for the three months to the end of September showed that digital album sales were up 24.2% on the same period the previous year to 6.1m. However, the total market was down 11.4% year on year to 21.8m units sold." (my emphasis added)

            Note the important thing: In a single year alone, recorded music sales are down 11.4%.

            So, how do you address that? Remember, it's not the economy, because this is a trend that goes back 10 years.

             

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              Jay (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Note the important thing: In a single year alone, recorded music sales are down 11.4%.

              So, how do you address that? Remember, it's not the economy, because this is a trend that goes back 10 years


              Two things. First, this defeats your analysis that recorded music is down 50%. Second, you would look at all entertainment and see which have risen. I would say that other media has gone up such as gaming that battle for music lover's time.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 9:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Jay, what I find amazing is that you are all arrogant, and yet unable to read and connect simple ideas.

                11.4% is in a SINGLE YEAR. The 50% number is compared with the peak (which was about 10 years ago).

                But you knew that, right?

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 9:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Jay:

                http://www.scribd.com/doc/50385881/IFPI-Digital-Music-Report-2011

                page 5. 2004-2010 (6 years) shows a downturn of 31%.

                page 7: 4.6 of digital sales as 29% of the market, thus the market overall is 15.86 billion.

                Now look at:

                http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/20010419.html

                The global music market was worth US$36.9 billion, with total unit sales of 3.5 billion.

                That means that from 2000 to 2010, the worldwide recorded music business (including paid digital downloads) is down 58%.

                Choke on it.

                 

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                  techflaws.org (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 11:42pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Choke on it.

                  Why would he? I wasn't aware your industry has any right to continued income of the same level.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 4:07am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Wow, talk about missing the point.

                    Music is as popular as ever, maybe more than ever, and yet sales are down 58%. Doesn't that make you wonder how that gap is being made up?

                    Hint: piracy is one of the keys. It's not all of it, but it is a big part of it, because nothing else explains all the copyrighted music in peoples hands without payment.

                    You can carry on denying if you like. Nice try to deflect it into a "you don't have a right to money" discussion, but that is bullshit and you know it.

                     

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                      techflaws.org (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:30pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I don't trust your bullshit numbers one bit and definitely your "piracy is one of the keys" argument is in no way sufficent to introduce draconian laws that won't tackle the perceived problem (hint: make people willing to buy rather than stopping those who wouldn't anyway).

                      You can carry on denying if you like

                      That's rich coming from an AC who actually believes people only run those file sharing sites because they want to make money. Like I've said repeatedly on this blog, it'll be fun to watch your ilk come here and whine again when you realize that despite being cut off from ad funding tons of sites will continue unabated.

                       

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              Atkray (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 6:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "recorded music sales are down 11.4%"

              without addressing the veracity of that, I would point out that there is a big shift of people going to Indie musicians who may not be showing up in your numbers, because most of what the major labels produce isn't worth listening to much less paying for.

              short version

              People aren't buying your product because it sucks.

               

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      AJ (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:01am

      Re:

      "Since you are so wise, can you explain why the sales of recorded music are down more than 50%, yet the consumption of the same recorded music is at an all time high?"

      I know this questions was intended for Mike, but if you don't mind, I'll answer this one...

      Because of all the free services that are available right now! You don't have to be a pirate to get free music, hell, it's easier to NOT download the music as that takes up space.. you can let someone else store it and just stream what you want...

      http://www.pcworld.com/article/187911/the_best_free_music_apps_for_your_smartphone.html

       

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:03am

      Re:

      Let me get this straight. Using 20/20 hindsight, we find that every time the content industry freaked out about a new technology claiming it will destroy said content industry, yet in the end, everything worked out for the better of said content industry, that this time it will be different?

       

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      Rikuo (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      He has, hundreds of times.
      Plus, its not hindsight. Its looking at a series of similar events, seeing the results and applying what happened then to what's happening now. So yes, it is obvious. Its the same pattern repeating itself: new technology is introduced, disrupts the market, legacy entertainment industry freaks out, calls for new laws, only to later embrace the new technology and make billions from it.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:11am

      Re:

      Trollie troll, that might be true (while overrated from your part) to the old plastic cookies. Come back with facts and considering the whole if you want to be taken seriously ;)

      And you are asking Mike not to be insulting? I guess it's the pot, meet kettle thing?

       

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      hothmonster, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

      Re:

      down 50% from what? Citation needed
      Consumption of the same recorded music at an all time high. Citation needed

      Ill not be insulting if you start being factual, dipshit.

      "the old 20/20 hindsight card as if things were so damn obvious before we got to see the results play out over 20,30, or even 100 years."

      Well since we can't predict the many legal uses for new technologies we better just ban them all right? I mean if we can make time stand still we don't have to predict anything

       

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      Richard (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

      Re:

      Since you are so wise, can you explain why the sales of recorded music are down more than 50%,

      Because the new stuff is crap.

      yet the consumption of the same recorded music is at an all time high?

      You have no way of knowing that. - However, if true - it can be explained by people listening to the old music they have accumulated over the years.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

      Re:

      At least one part of this is that lots of people, such as myself and nearly all of my friends, actively refuse to purchase music from any RIAA member label, at any price. This does not mean they pirate (I'm unaware that my friends do, and I know that I don't). It means they're buying music from non-label artists, paying the artists directly. A lot of music.

       

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      techflaws.org (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 11:46pm

      Re:

      Since you are so wise, can you explain why the sales of recorded music are down more than 50%, yet the consumption of the same recorded music is at an all time high?

      Citation needed for both. And how about the fact that maybe people finally finished rebuying all their stuff on CD that they already had on Vinyl (paying your industry again for the same stuff) 10 years ago? Of course you gotta compare to this year, no?

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Let's talk about Hyperbolic commentary and over-reaching exaggeration on TechDirt. The assertion that SOPA/PROTECTIP is an attack on freedom of speach is one example. Your claim that pirates are customers is another example. Your belief that "the industry" doesn't understand technology is another.

    Here is my take on your perspective, please correct any inaccuracies that I have perceived from your posts. You are a businessman and your primary business is "technology consulting". Your primary sorce of income is from consulting work, but I presume you have additional investments. Given your opinions and your ardent support for weakening copyright law, your opposition to copyright enforcement, your bemoaning of compensatory damages awarded due to infringement, and the tone of your posts which indicate sympathy for pirates, I assume you have investments in media distribution over the internet.

    I don't work in "the industry", I am not a lawyer, I am not an artist. I am a software engineer for a business software company. My work isn't pirated, at least not on the scale of music, movies and games. I belive if you are using something that the creator charges for (a service, listening to a song, watching a movie, etc..) you should pay what the creator asks (or content owner if the creator transferred those rights). If you are unwilling or unable to pay for the service or performance, simply do not watch/listen/use the work/service.

    Many of your commentors seem to be under the dellusion that it is their RIGHT to consume. This is a false assumption. Simply being a fan does not mean that you can consume without compensating the creator/rights holder. The rights holder has the discretion to charge whatever they feel their work is worth. The market has the discretion to either accept that price or refuse to make the purchase. At no time does the general public have the right to take that work without license.

    If a rights holder feels that they can earn compensation through some other means and freely distributes that work, more power to them. However, condoning piracy - for any reason - indicates your unwillingness to "adapt" to a legal culture that will no longer tolerate the piracy that was rampant in the early days of the internet.

    The pirates need to "adapt" and find legal distribution channels for the content they consume. You need to "adapt" to changing times, where copyright law is being enforced and violators are being punished.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:11am

      Re:

      "You need to "adapt" to changing times, where copyright law is being enforced and violators are being punished."

      And in what faerie tale land does that ever happen? All I see are laws being introduced that will punish service providers and tool makers, not the pirates themselves. Of those pirates, only a tiny minority ever get bothered because of their actions and of those that get bothered only an infinitesimal part ever has to pay for anything.

       

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      Mr. Oizo, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:17am

      Re:

      Your argument that you have no 'right' to the work you didn't make is valid for me. However, those industries that will not allow the consumer to get the music at a reasonable price should not complain that they are 'dying'. And, most importantly, those industries should then of course also pay the artist who actually made the work, which is not the case.

      We are fighting the overpaid middlemen, not the artists.

       

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      hobo, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:29am

      Re:

      Infringement ("piracy") will continue, regardless. Proxy servers, encryption, activity in other countries where US law does not apply, and so on. To look at the world and say, "Infringement exists and will continue to exist," is not condoning the activity. It is stating facts and making an assumption based on the history of media production/consumption.

      Harming everyone for the actions of a few is not only unjust, but it is bad business. Some people pay for consumption, some people don't. Putting up DRM schemes, increasing civil (and sometimes criminal) penalties, and repeatedly changing copyright laws to increase the rights of content distributors or producers rather than consumers are not good business practices.

      "Many of your [cohort] seem to be under the delusion that it is their RIGHT to [be paid.]" You say that if we don't want to pay their price for their product, that we shouldn't use their product. If only it were that easy. If I don't buy or use their product, they cite lower sales as proof of piracy and attempt to get the law changed anyway.

      There are an increasing number of competing demands on individuals' smaller entertainment budgets. There have always been video games. Now there are more, they are more varied (i.e. can appeal to more sections of the population) and many have downloadable content for purchase.

      In my opinion, neither Mike nor Techdirt advocate piracy. What they advocate is acknowledging that it exists, that it likely cannot be eradicated. Ever. And that finding ways to compete with it and thus make more money is in the best interests of businesses that exist in infringeable markets.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re:

        My "cohorts"? You mean software developers? No one is business makes any assumption of profit or sales. Not even in the music industry. But when they can point to a source of piracy and say X number of units were illegally downloaded they can prove consumption without compensation. While you cannot make a claim that says those people would definately have been paying customers you can say that some of them might have been if the content wasn't taken.

        If you do the crime do the time.

         

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          Prisoner 201, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If you do the crime do the time."

          I guess Rosa Parks should have just done as she was told then?

          There are such things as bad laws, and it is a moral obligation to fight such laws.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm not biting at your poorly executed troll post.
            Copyright law is not a bad law, it provides protection for artist. If you take/use that which does not belong to you without permission you have commited theft. If you copy/distribute/broadcast that to which you are not licensed you have commited copyright law infringement. Existing law provides penalties, including fines, potential incareration, and the levying of compensatory damages to the rights holder.

             

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              The eejit (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Copyright law is not a bad law.

              Except in its current form, where it benefits a few at the expense of society as a whole.

               

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              Prisoner 201, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That's your opinion, and you are entitled to it.

              My opinion is that the sooner copyright is eradicated (or at least neutered down to like 2-5 years) the better.

              Society is already developing exponentially faster than when copyright was introduced.

              In the near future when there is a new major disruptive technology every year instead of every generation, what use is Patents and Life+75 years copyright? It will only slow humanity down.

               

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              techflaws.org (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 11:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Copyright law is not a bad law

              So actually stealing (you know, as opposed to what you call stealing, infringement) from the public by RETROACTIVELY extending copyright is not bad? How convincing.

               

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          rubberpants, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Except the industry are the ones deciding what the crime is.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, actually the LAW is determining what the crime is. You act as if copyright infringment was legal and then it became a crime. It was ALWAYS illegal, it just wasn't enforced. Then when the industry takes action to force the legal system to enforce the EXISTING law you throw your hands up and shout that they are changing the law. SOPA/PROTECTIP are intended to stop infringing web sites, not shut down the internetz. There are issues with the legislation, but I am in favor of the basic premise of the legislation - terminate traffic to infringing sites.

             

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              JMT (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "No, actually the LAW is determining what the crime is."

              And how do you think those laws came to be? It sure as hell wasn't because of a group of concerned citizens with the public's best interests at heart, it was thanks to a bunch of greedy gatekeepers and middlemen (not artists or creators) spending obscene amounts of money on political lobbyists in order to buy the laws that benefited them, completely corrupting copyright's original stated purpose at society's expense.

              Just and fair laws are obeyed not just because of the threat of punishment, but because they're respected. The scale of copyright infringement shows exactly how little respect people have for the current state of these laws.

               

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              John Fenderson (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              SOPA/PROTECTIP are intended to stop infringing web sites, not shut down the internetz.


              I mostly disagree. I don't think that SOPA/PROTECTIP is intended to stop infringing web sites as the primary goal. I also don't think the intention is to shut down the internet.

              I think the intention is to close off the internet as a channel of free communication, to allow major content producers to regain their monopoly on the means of distribution and lock everyone else out. By their own admission, they're not nearly as worried about piracy as about loss of control over the channel.

              They don't want to destroy the internet. They want to steal it.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                they want to turn it into television. Plain and simple and easy to control and monopolize

                 

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          techflaws.org (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 11:50pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If you do the crime do the time.

          Crime? It's a civil matter.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 5:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "While you cannot make a claim that says those people would definately have been paying customers you can say that some of them might have been if the content wasn't taken."

          You can of course say absolutely anything you like, but that doesn't mean that what you say is true.
          You can equally say that it has been beneficial for many software companies from Microsoft on down for people to use their products even if they haven't purchased it initially. People have gained competence and become familiar with the product and gone on to endorse some if not all of that software and that has definitely led to sales that otherwise might not have happened

           

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        Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

        Re: Re:

        Harming everyone for the actions of a few is not only unjust, but it is bad business. Some people pay for consumption, some people don't. Putting up DRM schemes, increasing civil (and sometimes criminal) penalties, and repeatedly changing copyright laws to increase the rights of content distributors or producers rather than consumers are not good business practices.

        DRM also has another downside: so-called pirates don't have to put up with it, because the products they get have had it removed. Legitimate users, however, have to deal with all the limitations and faults of DRM, including that it sometimes makes the content impossible to consume. Remember Macrovision on VHS? Most of the time it would play just fine, but some TVs couldn't handle it. And why should they? It works by corrupting the signal.

        I don't know how many times have I heard about people who purchased a game legally but also download a hack (or a hacked copy) because the DRM either made the game unplayable or, at least, very inconvenient (e.g. requiring you to repurpose your optical drive as a DRM key).

        DRM really only causes problems for legitimate customers. "Pirates" get to bypass all that. The more intrusive your DRM the fewer satisfied customers.

        And then there are the schemes that force you to connect to a DRM server to access your content. That's fine, as long as you're in a position to connect, and as long as the servers stay up. But every time a company gives up and shuts down their DRM servers, locking customers out from content they've paid for, more and more people will look askance at any such scheme. I don't mind Steam because I mostly play online anyway, it's pretty transparent, and they're a solid company with a good history. But you won't catch me buying DRM-laden e-books or digital music. "I'm stupid, but I'm not BLOODY stupid." If I can't play it on my smartphone with the playback program of my choice I'm not really interested.

        Yeah, driving your customers away isn't good for business.


        "Many of your [cohort] seem to be under the delusion that it is their RIGHT to [be paid.]" You say that if we don't want to pay their price for their product, that we shouldn't use their product. If only it were that easy. If I don't buy or use their product, they cite lower sales as proof of piracy and attempt to get the law changed anyway.

        Not to mention that sometimes they deliberately lock out markets, and then scream bloody murder when people work to get around that lock-out. If they make and sell a product that people want, and the only way many of them can get it is through illegitimate means, then I have trouble understanding why they're complaining that those people use illegitimate means to get their product. But they'll lock out 3/4 of the world and then kvetch about all the piracy from that 3/4 of the world and try to use it to justify locking them out.

        Like my KF buddies say while playing Medic, "You can't heal 'stupid'." Everybody makes mistakes and usually you get a chance to learn from them. But if you play 'stupid' too much for too long you die.

         

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      Rikuo (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:48am

      Re:

      It's your last paragraph that I have beef with.
      The customer should never and I mean never tailor him/herself to the wishes of the business. It is the business that must tailor themselves to the wishes of the customer.

      Telling people to find legal distribution channels is a slap in the face if the content they want cannot be had legally. And what if eventually the only legal method is one where you have to donate an organ, and put up your kids as collateral? (silly extreme example I know)

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:14pm

      Re:

      Let's talk about Hyperbolic commentary and over-reaching exaggeration on TechDirt. The assertion that SOPA/PROTECTIP is an attack on freedom of speach is one example.

      I don't see how that's hyperbolic. Shutting down websites like that is known as prior restraint, which is an attack on free speech. The concern, contrary to the FUD you hear from SOPA supporters, is not about pulling down infringing content -- we're fine with that. It's about taking down all sorts of non-infringing content as collateral damage. That's absolutely a free speech issue.

      Your claim that pirates are customers is another example

      There are about half a dozen studies that all show that "pirates" are the best customers. So, um, how is that hyperbole? Or is the data lying?

      Your belief that "the industry" doesn't understand technology is another.

      Not my belief. They've admitted it:


      "There's no one in the record company that's a technologist," Morris explains. "That's a misconception writers make all the time, that the record industry missed this. They didn't. They just didn't know what to do. It's like if you were suddenly asked to operate on your dog to remove his kidney. What would you do?"

      Personally, I would hire a vet. But to Morris, even that wasn't an option. "We didn't know who to hire," he says, becoming more agitated. "I wouldn't be able to recognize a good technology person -- anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me." Morris' almost willful cluelessness is telling. "He wasn't prepared for a business that was going to be so totally disrupted by technology," says a longtime industry insider who has worked with Morris. "He just doesn't have that kind of mind."


      You are a businessman and your primary business is "technology consulting".

      No. I am a business man, and we make some money from consulting, but that is not my primary source of income.

      Your primary sorce of income is from consulting work, but I presume you have additional investments.

      Outside of some retirement funds I haven't looked at in years, no.

      Given your opinions and your ardent support for weakening copyright law, your opposition to copyright enforcement, your bemoaning of compensatory damages awarded due to infringement, and the tone of your posts which indicate sympathy for pirates, I assume you have investments in media distribution over the internet.

      No sir. My position has nothing to do with my own wallet. It's purely a principled stand. I have an economist's hatred for inefficiency. Monopolies are inefficient. They limit markets and limit innovation.

      If you want a "selfish" reason for my stance, it's pretty simple: I'm a geek and I love cool innovations. I also love music and movies. I want more of all of that. I think that using copyright laws as they're in place today has massively limited all of that, and I hate that. I want more cool innovation, I want more cool content. Copyright maximalism doesn't do that. It limits the market in favor of a few gatekeepers who have an interest in holding back innovation and limiting content.

      I belive if you are using something that the creator charges for (a service, listening to a song, watching a movie, etc..) you should pay what the creator asks (or content owner if the creator transferred those rights). If you are unwilling or unable to pay for the service or performance, simply do not watch/listen/use the work/service.

      I agree. That's why I don't support "piracy." I don't partake in it at all. I buy a ton of music and movies and such (though haven't had much time for movies lately). My point is solely in explaining how content creators can and are better off by understanding the economics, and freaking out about piracy and passing bad laws doesn't help them.

      Many of your commentors seem to be under the dellusion that it is their RIGHT to consume.

      Yes. It appears that some do feel this way.

      This is a false assumption.

      I don't know that you can claim that someone's moral position is false. I agree with you that I don't think it's a "right." But that doesn't make their belief "false."

      Simply being a fan does not mean that you can consume without compensating the creator/rights holder.

      Well, that gets tricky. I'm currently listening non-stop (and have for a few months now) to a band called Jazzbo. A nice jazz reggae band out of Berlin. I only found out about them, because they offered both of their albums for free via CDBaby a few months back (they're back to charging now -- and I'm thinking of buying it anyway, just to support them, because they're that awesome). But to date I've consumed a ton of their music without compensating them. You say that's impossible. You're wrong.

      The rights holder has the discretion to charge whatever they feel their work is worth.

      Yes.

      The market has the discretion to either accept that price or refuse to make the purchase. At no time does the general public have the right to take that work without license.

      Yes. We agree. Not sure your point, but restating what the law is, is correct. Though, I would argue that history has often shown that piracy isn't about getting something for "free," but about unmet forms of demand. That is, it IS the market speaking. But that doesn't make it right or legal.

      If a rights holder feels that they can earn compensation through some other means and freely distributes that work, more power to them. However, condoning piracy - for any reason - indicates your unwillingness to "adapt" to a legal culture that will no longer tolerate the piracy that was rampant in the early days of the internet.


      I think you're confusing a few issues here. First, I've never condoned piracy, so... not sure what to make of that statement. But again, if you look at your history (books by Adrian Johns and Matt Mason are good starting points) will suggest that culture *always* tolerates piracy. That's kind of my point. Whether or not you and I agree or disagree, it's happening and it will continue to happen.

      My point is to learn how to (a) use that to your advantage and (b) not to pass laws with really bad unintended consequences.

      The pirates need to "adapt" and find legal distribution channels for the content they consume. You need to "adapt" to changing times, where copyright law is being enforced and violators are being punished.

      The way pirates "adapt" is when the industry comes to its senses and offers things the way the market wants them to offer. Otherwise the piracy continues.

       

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      Goop, Nov 13th, 2011 @ 7:20am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:57am

      But the rub is that the RIAA and their ilk don't care one iota about the artist being compensated (simply review any contract issued in the last 20+ years). All their bemoaning is because the endless levels of management who bring no value to the production of any creative product stand to lose their capacity to control the artist(s), and therefore lose their meal ticket. And frankly, they deserve that. The industry can't die soon enough IMO.

       

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    identicon
    Koen, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:04am

    Thanks for the logo RIAA

    We have pirated it and are repurposing it to promote piracy.
    So thanks for that.

    Love, The Pirate Bay.

    P.S: HAHA! Losers

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    Let's talk about Hyperbolic commentary and over-reaching exaggeration on TechDirt. The assertion that SOPA/PROTECTIP is an attack on freedom of speach is one example. Your claim that pirates are customers is another example. Your belief that "the industry" doesn't understand technology is another.

    I stopped reading at this paragraph. I am a pirate and I am a customer. Not the best customer on movies, I usually rent them so I'm not the best profit for the MAFIAA. But I'm a customer. And I download illegally too. Enough proof that while not all customers are pirates at least some pirates are customers. The long cord decision on Zediva and the fact that MAFIAA approved it is enough proof that you (and your bosses at MAFIAA) understand shit of technology. Software dev? For MAFIAA I bet =) As for the freedom os speech part the bill itself isn't a direct attack. But monster cables think ebay and craiglist are rogue sites and MAFIAA thinks youtube, hip hop blogs and others are rogue sites. That they have this distorted view and the broadness of the bill allows them to do whatever their delusions tell them to do is a direct attack on my free speech. You aren't to decide what a rogue site is. A group of multi-disciplinary professionals MAY be able to.

    Now something caught my eye:

    The pirates need to "adapt" and find legal distribution channels for the content they consume. You need to "adapt" to changing times, where copyright law is being enforced and violators are being punished.

    I have tried to find legal distribution channels for quite a bit of the stuff I downloaded for free and wanted to buy later. Too bad the MAFIAA is consisted of business inept ppl and they have idiotic region restrictions that prevented me from buying the said content. I don't need to adapt to moronic laws. Laws have to adapt to the times and to what the POPULATION wants, not some imbeciles sitting at the head of a failed industry.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    Let's talk about Hyperbolic commentary and over-reaching exaggeration on TechDirt. The assertion that SOPA/PROTECTIP is an attack on freedom of speach is one example. Your claim that pirates are customers is another example. Your belief that "the industry" doesn't understand technology is another.

    I stopped reading at this paragraph. I am a pirate and I am a customer. Not the best customer on movies, I usually rent them so I'm not the best profit for the MAFIAA. But I'm a customer. And I download illegally too. Enough proof that while not all customers are pirates at least some pirates are customers. The long cord decision on Zediva and the fact that MAFIAA approved it is enough proof that you (and your bosses at MAFIAA) understand shit of technology. Software dev? For MAFIAA I bet =) As for the freedom os speech part the bill itself isn't a direct attack. But monster cables think ebay and craiglist are rogue sites and MAFIAA thinks youtube, hip hop blogs and others are rogue sites. That they have this distorted view and the broadness of the bill allows them to do whatever their delusions tell them to do is a direct attack on my free speech. You aren't to decide what a rogue site is. A group of multi-disciplinary professionals MAY be able to.

    Now something caught my eye:

    The pirates need to "adapt" and find legal distribution channels for the content they consume. You need to "adapt" to changing times, where copyright law is being enforced and violators are being punished.

    I have tried to find legal distribution channels for quite a bit of the stuff I downloaded for free and wanted to buy later. Too bad the MAFIAA is consisted of business inept ppl and they have idiotic region restrictions that prevented me from buying the said content. I don't need to adapt to moronic laws. Laws have to adapt to the times and to what the POPULATION wants, not some imbeciles sitting at the head of a failed industry.

     

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      Ninja (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:13am

      Re:

      Shit, that was for Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 10:57am and seems I double posted. Would you guys help me getting TD less polluted by flagging the comment that went by as an Anonymous Coward? Thanks.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      "I have tried to find legal distribution channels for quite a bit of the stuff I downloaded for free and wanted to buy later. "

      It's part of adapting... you don't get to take before you maybe buy... it's called enjoy the samples, and buy it if you like it, when it's available in your market.

      You guys need to learn what adapt really means!

       

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        Ninja (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 3:03am

        Re: Re:

        I do that. Except that my samples are full things that come from torrenting =D

        And, sorry, if I know it exists, I'm a fan but I can't buy even though I'm waving my money at the companies in charge of the content then I'll get the way I can. And if the artist comes to my country or has a donate/flattr button I'll go and click.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 7:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Exactly. One day you will wake up and realize you don't have to pay for any of it (paying is just a question of morals, I am sure you can lose the last few you have), and then you can break the chain entirely.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Unfamiliar with the concept...

    I especially love this:

    The average song's life has dwindled from 18 months to 90 days; composers are forced to turn out a dozen songs a year instead of the oldtime two or three.


    So, what he's saying is that this technology is doing more to spur creation of music than copyright ever did!

    And somehow this is a *bad* thing?!?!?

    Considering the entire purpose of copyright law is to "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts", it sounds like the country needs *more* technology, not less.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Prisoner 201, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

      Re: Unfamiliar with the concept...

      I keep going back to how incredibly spoiled and petulant he sounds.

      "I am an artist, infinitely better than you plebs. Asking of me to do work is downright insulting! I will produce a song or two per year, and in return you will worship me and grant me the wealth and status that I as an artist is entitled to."

       

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    •  
      identicon
      rubberpants, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

      Re: Unfamiliar with the concept...

      "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"

      Somehow, "and to ensure that copyright holders continue to make profits the way they have historically done and in the precise manner of their choosing" has snuck it's way in there.

       

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    I don't see the content industry crying about the technology they developed themselves - compact disc, DVD, minidisc, bluray. Apparently they're the only ones allowed to invent media-related technology. If anyone else does, it's either give them all the money or get sued or legislated out of existence. They want to impose restrictions on the use of all future technology in the name of perpetual copyright.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:41pm

    What about the other side of the coin when the apologists warned the Grokster decision would "kill the internet"? Sounds much like the current nonsense about DNS blocking "breaking the internet". Didn't happen then, won't happen now.

     

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    •  
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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 11:16pm

      Re:

      What about the other side of the coin when the apologists warned the Grokster decision would "kill the internet"? Sounds much like the current nonsense about DNS blocking "breaking the internet". Didn't happen then, won't happen now.

      Breaking is not killing. The concern is not that the internet dies, but that innovation is hindered. And the results of Grokster proved us right. It has significantly slowed down the rise of useful legal services. The most unfortunate part is that the movie and music industries have suffered the most because of this. We would have been long past most of these challenges without the Grokster ruling.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

        Re: Re:

        "breaking the internet" is focused mostly on a single system (DNSSEC) that isn't even widely used or supported. IPv6 is much more widely supported, and taking it away tomorrow wouldn't break the internet either.

        What would be "broken" appears to be mostly the sites that profit from the DMCA get out of jail free card business model. Too bad for them.

         

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        •  
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          techflaws.org (profile), Nov 10th, 2011 @ 11:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Appears to you. A clueless troll. So what?

           

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        •  
          icon
          Killercool (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's the LAW. The LAW is always GOOD. If they are doing something LEGAL there is NO WAY it can be BAD. If the LAW says that service providers cannot be held liable for actions that their users commit, their is NO WAY it can BE ABUSED.

          Copyright law is NOT a bad LAW.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 4:54pm

    What about the other side of the coin when the apologists warned the Grokster decision would "kill the internet"? Sounds much like the current nonsense about DNS blocking "breaking the internet". Didn't happen then, won't happen now.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 7:59pm

      Re:

      Small question, do you realize the malware and security risks concerning DNS blocking? If so, we can continue this conversation. If not, there's no point in wasting time with someone who doesn't understand the technology.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 9:00pm

    >So, when the RIAA and the MPAA insist that "something must be done!" as quickly as is humanly possible to deal with the "threat" of so-called "rogue sites" domestically and abroad, we say back to them: "let's all take a deep breath."

    "Humanly possible" is no longer a prerequesite given that they want everyone to effectively police millions of hours of content that might be infringing, or shut down the lot based on their claims.

    I believe there were instances in which the IP maximists have called for balance. Let the inhumanly possible slaughterfest begin.

     

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    identicon
    Sean Andrews, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    Nice post

    This is an excellent overview of the "Hysteric hyperbole" over the years. It is curious that this is the rhetorical tack they've taken in characterizing their opponents. I tried a takedown of one version of this last week. But you've done a better job--and reminded me that there were plenty of moments when the technology (rather than the policy) was allowed to win the argument.

    http://breakingculture.tumblr.com/post/12246308679/copyhype-over-eparasites-not-quite

     

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    identicon
    Rekrul, Nov 10th, 2011 @ 10:02pm

    These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a boy...in front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs.

    Wait a minute! Was Sousa really endorsing unlicensed public performances???

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Tom Green, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 3:45am

    Well this is an interesting thread. I am an actual musical artist, and this is how I make my living. Or used to.

    Just take it from those of us who do try the indie thing, we don't work with the majors, we try all the usual things we're supposed to do, according to the freetards. Here's some real figures.

    Last time I tried a "pay what you want" scenario, the ratio of paid to unpaid was 1 to 10000

    My last album sold about 2000 copies, all formats. Any torrent site will show 8000 + places where you can get it free. How many torrents out there ? Multiply that up (given a few doubles, of course)

    Live work costs me more to play than I'll earn. T shirt sales are barely worth it.

    The thing is - those of us who want to make good, non- major music, now need legal streams "sales" in the millions, just to break even. We can't get them cos it still costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in promo. We KNOW thousands of people listen to our stuff, but the legal sales are so low we never make a profit, these days.

    In the end, we all slowly go bankrupt, and stop making music- certainly, as soon as we want normal shit like family, somewhere to live, basic stuff. You can't do that and be a muso, these days.

    So go on, help yourselves. But you ARE ripping us off, us artists, not just the labels. We ARE the labels, a lot of us, these days.

    These are the facts. We just don't make a living these days, and yet apparently it's all our fault that there is no business model that competes with free. Hell, we're musos, not business geniuses.

    Just give us a break sometimes. Yes, I know some freetards buy music. But most of them don't. In the end, we have to stop making it. You can't just go on ploughing cash into a losing game forever. Yes, music is being made, but we, the artists, are paying for all of it.

    At some point, we have to stop. For me, that point isn't far away. For most of my friends and colleagues, it's been and gone. They've stopped.

    This what you all want ?

     

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    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 4:21am

      Re:

      Just give us a break sometimes. Yes, I know some freetards buy music. But most of them don't. In the end, we have to stop making it. You can't just go on ploughing cash into a losing game forever. Yes, music is being made, but we, the artists, are paying for all of it.

      Calling your fans "freetards" isn't exactly a good way to endear yourself to them and make them want to give you money...

      Perhaps the problem is your attitude towards your fans, rather than "piracy."

       

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        identicon
        Tom Green, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 6:08am

        Re: Re:

        Maybe, but respect breeds respect, and disrespect breeds disrespect.

        I'm very happy to meet, greet, respond to, and generally adore those fans who have the respect to recognise that they have got 'something' out of my music, and also recognise that less well-known artists like me need to eat (and probably need money more than better known artists)-and therefore pay me, something, for the pleasure they derive from my music. Even if they don't do it every time, they have at least offered me some kind of financial recompense in return for the considerable outlay I have to make to offer them the music in the first place.

        The people I call 'freetards' are the ones like the guy last month who sent me a mail saying he was having trouble finding good quality mp3s of my music off torrent, and demanded that I therefore send him "320mp3, flac, or preferably a link to full 16bit 44.1k files" I mailed back that he could find those files either on iTunes, or CDs from Amazon or my site.

        He then mailed back with an expletive-laden tirade, saying he'd never paid for music, never will, and artists like me should just send him what he wants, when he wants, as a matter of right, that all music, film, content of any kind should be free, and anyone who thought otherwise was a fascist, most of all me. Naturally I didn't reply....

        Well, I'm sorry, but sometimes all this gets a bit much. For most of my career I've had to dodge being ripped off by promoters, agents, managers, publishers, and record labels - who still try to do that, by the way. Now, it seems it's everybody else as well.

        If you want me to have a better 'attitude' , then maybe some 'fans' could adjust theirs, as well.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Rekrul, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      ust take it from those of us who do try the indie thing, we don't work with the majors, we try all the usual things we're supposed to do, according to the freetards. Here's some real figures.

      Last time I tried a "pay what you want" scenario, the ratio of paid to unpaid was 1 to 10000


      Can you please explain something to me? Why is it that so many people are convinced that there are only two options;

      1. Sign with a major label and sell over-priced CDs.

      2. Put your music on the net for free and let people pay what they want.

      What about a third option;

      3. Put your music on the net in a format that fan want and sell it for a low price.

      Will this completely eliminate piracy? No, it won't. Nothing will. However, instead of the ratio of paid to unpaid downloads being 1 to 1000, you'd be getting paid for every copy downloaded.

      Allow me to give you a real life example;

      A local closeout store has a pretty good selection of DVDs for $3 each. Occasionally they even have seasons of TV shows or multi-movie packs for that price or just slightly more. I've bought several DVDs there. How many new release DVDs do you think I've bought for $15-20 each?

      Here's another one;

      I have a pretty good size collection of computer games. Almost all of them were either bought used (local store, eBay), or from a closeout store. The average price I've paid for each game was around $5. Take a guess how many games in my collection I've bought for $20-30.

      If you guessed "zero" for both questions, you're correct. From this you can draw two conclusions;

      1. I'm a cheapskate.

      2. Lower priced items sell better than higher priced items.

      Of course if you offer people something for free, they're going to take it. But if you offer them that same item at a good price, people will buy it. Look at iTunes, it's doing pretty well, isn't it? I'm not suggesting that you'll make as much money as Apple obviously, but try putting your songs on the net with a fixed price for maybe $0.50-0.75 each and see what happens.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Tom Green, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 7:05am

        Re: Re:

        And indeed we do - I've just confirmed with my 'aggregator' (yes, artists still need middlemen to get stuff on iTunes, you can't deal with Apple direct) that it's OK for me to offer tunes on other sites, as long as those sites aren't also 'served' by the aggregator. This means I should be able to offer tunes at lower prices than iTunes on sites like Bandcamp, or FB apps like Fanwise and no doubt others soon, as well.

        The problem is that it doesn't appear to be the case that if we "offer them that same item at a good price, people will buy it". They still go to where they know they can get it for free, and who can blame them, especially these days when we're all skint ? Even if I offer a "pay what you like" price, it's not 1 in 1000 who pays, it's 1 in 10,000. So 9,999 people like the tune enough to download it (even though they can stream it in full) but only one has enough respect to pay me anything for it.

        I can't believe that all those 9,999 people are in the habit of just downloading anything free, just for the sake of it, and filling their drives full of music they don't actually like, or only like in a very vague way. Quite a lot of them probably enjoyed it really rather a lot - and they could still legally have listened to it, and enjoyed it, for free, as a stream. No, they liked it enough to want it on their pods, for repeat, offline, listening. Yet none of them would pay a penny for it.

        There seems to be something in human nature that just wants it for free, or if it's available for free, they'll go thru the hassle of finding it on torrent rather than stay on the site they've found it, and actually pay a little something for it.

        However low the price is, it just isn't low enough, unless that price is zero, for what appears to be the vast majority of music consumers.

        That's the model behind Spotify, really - pitch the price per play so low that ease of use and wide choice finally trumps the illegal, free, option. The problem about that is it means artists have to accept a fee per play that's so low the only way to get even the monthly equivalent of a US minimum wage off it is to achieve 4,000,000 or so plays per month.

        There is no way in hell I'm going to achieve the equivalent of platinum sales, any time, let alone every single month. And even if did, I'd still just be getting minimum wage.

        The point is - I wouldn't care about any of this if it was plainly obvious that no one liked my music, or very few. I know I don't 'deserve' to get paid just because I've written some music. But I do think that us 'content providers' are owed something for the pleasure we give you- after all, ISPs, locker sites, Google, Paypal, and Russian mafia hoodlums make plenty of money out of our 'free' music. Why shouldn't we ?

         

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    identicon
    Doug, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

    Response to Tom Green, Anonymous Coward

    To Tom Green: Bravo. Thanks for making your points, first-person, and doing it with dispassionate respect for the majority of folks here.

    To Anonymous Coward: I also agree with many of your points, at least in principle, all the naysaying notwithstanding. But saying that's it's all about "the law" makes one sound like a second-rate, Judge Dredd wannabe.

    I'm stunned that no one has mentioned "Creative Commons" While not entirely about making money, or taking money, it is a wholly different method of attribution, one that seems to ignore the concept of copyright.

    PS Tom Green: I'm now going to go looking for your music on whatever LEGAL site I can find, just to see if your tunes are something I'd like to listen to. And, if they are, I'll be d/ling them, and you'll get the .50 or .75 cents (or whatever iTunes pays you) for the privilege.

     

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    identicon
    Jason, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:49am

    Recognize that it's all a business issue

    As one wise man said - if you want to track the real reason look for the way the money flows. Right now it flows out of their pockets just because entertainment industry folks are getting too stiff adapting to new methods of getting money for their movies, music, whatever. Banning torrents is OK for me, but boy oh boy the whole regulation objective expands to smashing half of the websites that might have nothing to do with it. Say, I was making a video flick for Vimeo and some Red Hot Chilli Peppers were playing in the background. Later I might embed the flick in my website, because it's just cool. I am guilty of infringement Mr. SOPA, PIPA guys? Come on! What is this?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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